Spotlight: TRAILS WEST/Dairy Queen
Trails West, with its Dairy Queen, gift shop, convenience store, and gas pumps, is one of the most comprehensive travel stops along I-40 — and It’s been so for well over 50 years. Long owned and operated by the Turner family, it is currently managed by third-generation Jeremiah Turner with help from his wife, Jennifer, and brother Jordan. Jeremiah has been working in the industry since he was old enough to run a cash register, and remembers with admiration the hard-working example set by his grandparents J.T. and Reece Turner, who opened Trails West. It was J.T. who started using billboards and attractions, like a rattlesnake pit, to lure curious Route 66 and I-40 travelers to his travel stops. Today, Jeremiah continues effective billboard usage, but has changed his draw from wildlife to curios and promotional specials. Year-round there are authentic New Mexico gift items, and during the holidays, he offers specials of the day, free gift-wrapping and locals discounts. Recognizing that customers want a nice, clean facility, with modern conveniences, he took on a complete renovation not long after taking over ownership. The decades-old façade gave way to an attractive stacked stone and stucco exterior and gas pumps were updated. The interior saw updates, especially in the Dairy Queen section. Turner says he has seen a good response from customers and the fresh image has increased business. Like his grandparents, known for helping out anyone who needed a hand, Jeremiah is very active in the community. He coaches Little League, supports the work of several community organizations, and serves as a board member for Edgewood Chamber of Commerce.